Bar Room at The Modern


The Museum of Modern Art, 9 West 53rd Street, New York

Phone: 212-333-1220

The interior of The Bar Room at the Modern restaurant, with its well-lit dining room and small tables and chairs, looked very much like an upscale modern cafeteria. It has a more casual atmosphere to enjoy good Chef Gabriel Kreuther's dishes without all the formal dining fuss.

Gan, Eu Wen and myself went to check out the restaurant during restaurant week, and as usual, when the yaokuis meet up, there bound to be some serious eating. The menu looked very interesting and we wanted to try more dishes, so we ordered four sets of restaurant week menu for the three of us. It was definitely worth it. Among the dishes we ordered, I really liked the diver scallops, flambee tarte, pork belly and the caramel coffee dome dessert. I wouldn't recommend the duck confit and the liverswurst, since I have had better ones.

Overall, I thought the food was not bad, and Gan definitely liked it a lot more. Maybe next time I'll go crazy and splurge on the Modern Dining Room instead and try their more refine menu, and see how good the food really is.

Modern Liverwurst with four pickled vegetables

Tarte Flambée Alsatian thin crust tart with crème fraîche, onion and applewood smoked bacon

Arctic Char Tartare with basil and trout caviar

Beer Braised Pork Belly with suarkraut and ginger jus

Seared Diver Scallops with Asian pear, citrus, and spiced lobster consommé

Crispy Atlantic Cod with celery and granny smith apple salad, sauce gribiche, and American caviar

Duck Confit with shishito pepper hash, passion fruit and natural jus

Buttermilk Panna Cotta with strawberry soup and arlette tuile

Caramel Coffee Dome with vanilla ice cream and amaretto gelée

Fresh Stone Fruit Crumble with pistachio ice cream - definitely not our favorite dessert, way too sour

Modern Cheesecake with almond crumble, cherry and fromage blanc sorbets

Modern on Urbanspoon

Pan Seared Arctic Char


I have been watching too many Iron Chef, Top Chef and Hell's Kitchen cooking shows that I sometimes get inspired to just cooked something that "looks" like what they cook on tv. This Arctic Char on seafood soup dish was one on those. To create the seafood soup, I bought the ready made seafood + veggies stock from Whole Foods Market, bring it to boil on a stock pan and added sesame oil, sugar, salt, and balsamic vinegar seasoning. To prepare the yellow string beans, I created another pot of seafood soup stock with the same seasoning (with an additional teaspoon of ABC sweet soy sauce) and cooked the yellow string beans in the soup stock. For the Arctic Char, I sliced the fillets into four parts and lightly seasoned the fillets with salt and pepper on both sides and pan seared the fish until golden brown. When it's done, I placed the fish on top of the bowl with the soup and yellow string beans. As a finishing touch, I drizzled some organic balsamic vinegar concentrate on the fish just before serving.

Alan Wong's Restaurant


1857 S. King Street, Honolulu, Hawaii

Phone: 808-949-2526

I wasn't too impressed with Alan Wong's restaurant when I first ate there several years ago. I thought the food was quite generic high end, and it lacked character. It wasn't too memorable as well. But something changed when I went back again in May this year. I noticed the food was more distinctive, with the use of more local ingredients and creations that are not commonly found in NYC fine dining restaurants.

We chose the 7 course tasting menu and among the dishes served, I really enjoyed the Soup and Kalua Pig Sandwich, Seared Kona Kampachi and Kona Abalone dish. Kalua pig, just in case you are not familiar, is a traditional Hawaiian Luau feast dish that is prepared by cooking a whole pig in an underground oven for hours to produce the most succulent pork. Alan Wong has succeeded in creating his own version of Kalua Pig Cuban style sandwich, served with the best chilled tomato soup I have ever tasted. The Kona Abalone was very fresh and had a nice texture and chewiness, and the Kona Kampachi was just plan marvelous. Both Kona Abalone and Kona Kampachi are trademarked produce from the Big Island Abalone Corp and the Kona Blue Water Farms at Kona Coast, Hawaii. It is amazing how state-of-the-art marine hatchery and water farms can produce such high quality seafood.

I'm glad to see that Chef Alan Wong is taking the lead in supporting/using locally produced ingredients and keeping his tasting menu a steal. Yes, for $95 per person for a 7 course Chef Tasting Menu, I say that's a Steal!

Couldn't resist ordering their Raspberry Mojito

Seafood Salad - Ahi, Abalone & Tako tossed in Yuzu Miso Sauce

Soup and Sandwich - Chilled Vine Ripened Hamakua Springs Tomato Soup with Grilled Mozzarella Cheese, Foie Gras, Kalua Pig Sandwich

Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras with Li Hing Mui Chutney

Lobster Flan

Kona Abalone with Negi Oil, Hamakua Eryngi Mushrooms

Pan Seared Kona Kampachi (Amberjack) with Kahuku Sea Asparagus Coulis, Tomato & Olive Salad

Local Beef Duo, North Shore & Maui Cattle Company Beef with Roasted Maui Onions, Goat Cheese Potato Croquette

Dessert Sampler

Degustation Wine & Tasting Bar


239 E. 5th Street, New York

Phone: 212-979-1012

I think I have found my favorite restaurant in NYC, or maybe one of my favorite restaurants - Degustation Wine & Tasting Bar. I like that the restaurant is small and cozy with 16 seats surrounding the open kitchen and I absolutely love the franco-spanish tapas menu created by the very talented young Chef Wesley Genovart, who was trained at Jean Georges' Perry St restaurant.

The space which the restaurant now occupies used to be Grace's Kalbi Bar and before that Jewel Bako Robata. Unlike the Robata grill bar and Kalbi Bar that went out of business, Degustation Wine & Tasting Bar, with its very high quality, inventive and delicious tapas menu, is here to stay.

Since all the menu looked equally appetizing, we decided to go with the chef tasting menu to spare ourselves from the difficult task of picking what to eat. The 5 course tasting menu we chose came with Poached Egg, Mackerel, Poached Cod, Suckling Pig and Caramelized Torija dessert. I love every single dish and I couldn't get enough of the suckling pig and Torija.

My only regret is that the restaurant has been opened for 2 years and I have only found out about it now. It is still fairly easy to reserve a table even for Fridays, and I hope it stays that way. I would not be too happy if it turns into a Casa Mono or worse, Momofukuko.

Eu Wen and myself

can't remember the exact name of this dish, I believe it's mackerel

Slowly Poached Egg, Jamon Serrano, Chorizo, Smoked Cheese and Rice Cracker Crusted Asparagus

Olive Oil Poached Cod, Guanciale, English Peas and Mussels

The Chef himself serving us the Suckling pig with Sweet Garlic Puree, and Porcini Mushrooms dish

The Sous Chef torching the Torija (spanish bread pudding) to create the Caramelized Torija with berries dessert

Gan and Eu Wen enjoying their dessert. We wanted to order more Torija but had to rush to the karaoke :)

Degustation on Urbanspoon

Chef Nick's Ramen Party @ Lynn & Nelson's


Last weekend, Chef Nick came down to NYC to cook for us his famous ramen dish. It was certainly a treat as the ramen broth that was made from pork bones and pork trotters has been prepared ahead of time (for a week, to be exact) and transported to NYC with Nick via the bus.

Gan and I were in charge of bringing the chef to Mitsuwa supermarket to gather ingredients such as fresh ramen and pork belly. I also decided to contribute by cooking my Malaysian style soy sauce pork belly and Marmite chicken wings. Nelson, the host showed off his cocktail making skills during the evening and made very awesome Mojitos!

It was a fun ramen party, with delicious food (especially the ramen, of course) and great company. So a big thank you to Nick, Oi Yen, Nelson and Lynn for organizing it!

Chef Nick mixing his secret ingredients into the soup

Chef Nick! lol....

Chef Nick's creation - Ramen with spicy miso

soy sauce pork belly

Marmite chicken wings

Healthier option - salad

Jern and Chris - my ramen models

Nelson, the wonderful bartender for the night